While organizers of the Positive Tech conference focus their work on mobile delivery of well-being services, smartphones are proving to be valuable delivery tools and sources of data for researchers across campus in a number of other fields.
• U-M economists, working with colleagues at University of California, Berkeley and Arizona State University, have tapped into the mobile payments app called Check to produce accurate and comprehensive measures of consumer spending and income on a daily basis.
• Health researchers have found that a text-message-based service helps people at risk for diabetes adopt healthier behaviors.
• Researchers in the math department released a mobile app called “Entrain,” which helps ease the symptoms of jet lag.
• Return2Play, an app developed by experts at the Pediatric Trauma Program, helps athletes track their recoveries from concussions.
• UMSkinCheck, developed at the U-M Health System, is meant to help prevent skin cancer by walking users through a skin self-examination, then sending reminders to users to monitor changes to a skin lesion over time.
• A pilot study of low-income African Americans in Detroit found that texting can be an effective way to gather information on a community’s health habits or neighborhood needs.
• A new $4.5 million center will focus on video games, and apps may help teens with physical, cognitive and neurodevelopmental disabilities improve their health and become more independent.